Pressure washing can be an excellent method to keep your wooden deck in excellent condition. With that said, this cleaning procedure can protect the wood from deterioration and damages. The secret to a successful pressure washing procedure lies on your technique. If you do it the wrong way, the process will only damage your deck.
Safety Guidelines: Important Reminders Before Proceeding
Remember that pressure washing involves the use of high pressure water to clean outdoor surfaces, such as walkways, driveways, decks, or roof. Although pressure washers are available in most local hardware stores, it still requires skill, technique, and training to properly handle it.
Pressure washers can be very powerful since intense pressure can even damage bricks, but it can also be gentle enough to wash sidings and roof. Using this equipment to clean your wooden deck can make the job really easy, but there are many horror stories about using it. The truth is that, improper use of power washer on wooden decks will lead to wood damage wherein it needs replacement, or it can ruin decks and might require serious sanding. If you are preparing to pressure wash your wooden deck, it is best to consider the following:
- Choose the proper nozzle. You can look for one with a 40″ spray pattern for excellent results.
- During pressure washing, use less than 1,500 psi, and keep the nozzle at least a foot away from the surface of the deck.
- If you are using more 2,000psi or more, keep your nozzle at least a foot away.
Power Washing Technique For Decks
Before you start washing your wooden deck, you must first remove any obstructions or lose articles found on the deck, as these may cause injuries when pushed by the high-pressured water. It is also advisable to first test the pressure washer on a hidden area of the deck, and adjust the pressure properly. In doing so, you won’t cause any damage to the wood. In addition, you might also need to wear protective gloves and eyewear.
- Start the cleaning process by spraying the right cleaning solution on the deck, and leave it for around 5-10 minutes. Avoid leaving the solution for more than ten minutes as the detergent might get dry and leave ugly residue.
- You can then set the pressure of the washer to 600psi and try it on an inconspicuous area of the deck. You can increase the pressure slowly as you clean the deck to avoid damaging the wood.
- Position the washer a couple of feet away from the surface and lower the wand about 12″ away from the surface.
- Clean the wooden deck using a sweeping motion. Try to keep the distance consistent as you sweep. To do this, you must move your arm sideways back and forth. It is also advisable to start spraying at your house and move your way outward.
- Work section by section to rinse the wooden surface. You can spray one or two boards at a time. If there is a lot of dirt, dust, and grime that you need to get rid of, consider adding other attachments to the washer, such as a floor brush.
As a safety tip, it is best to follow the recommendations given by the manufacturer of the pressure washer. Additionally, avoid pressure washing near electric outlets or light fixtures. You must also make sure that the windows and doors near the deck are closed before starting the cleaning process.
- NourishingCook.”clean deck”. April 4, 2011. Online Image. Flickr. Jan 09, 2013
- License: Creative Commons image source
Kris Lim is a homeowner who offers some basic tips and reminders to ensure a safe and effective pressure washing procedure on wooden decks. She also recommends homeowners to consider hiring a professional pressure washer company, such as CleanSweep Services, Inc. to ensure high quality pressure washing services.